Granular customer data will revolutionize megawatt markets.
Tim Porter (email@example.com) is a senior executive in Accenture’s utilities industry group. Andre Begosso (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior manager in Accenture’s utilities industry group’s management consulting practice. The authors acknowledge the contributions of Curtis Bech, Accenture consultant.
Wholesale power markets have been in flux over the past year due to many market forces and new regulations. First, the slowdown of economic activity throughout the country has reduced native loads for utilities, making more generation available to the wholesale market. Second, contracting activity in the industrial segment has picked up as some companies are looking to lock in long-term power supply contracts with local utilities and power suppliers. This is counter to past observations where industrial customers historically have been wary of long-term contracts—with an average contract churn of 17 months or less. Third, regulatory activity in many states has introduced aggressive mandates for energy efficiency (EE) and demand response (DR) to curb demand growth and reshape the load curve. Fourth, changes enacted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)—like the elimination of the interruptible load for reliability (ILR) provision in PJM—brought additional DR resources to the market. Last, an increasing amount of variable generation is being connected to the bulk power system and some operational problems have begun to arise.